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Thread: Favorite Bach pianists.

  1. #31
    Senior Member howlingfantods's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kjetil Heggelund View Post
    I'm surprised at the resent for Hewitt...Whatsamatter? I think she is astonishing
    *shrug* I find her pretty boring and tedious. I'm not sure I've heard a more boring and less impressive chromatic fantasy and fugue than this one: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FWQYLsuR6nE

    Listen to this Yudina as contrast: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WN0wJdo71pM

    Yudina, I could listen to her playing all of WTK in one sitting. Hewitt not so much.
    Last edited by howlingfantods; Nov-12-2019 at 23:45.

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  3. #32
    Senior Member Bulldog's Avatar
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    I have mixed feelings about Hewitt's Bach. One thing she isn't is a "power" pianist who growls when needed, and Bach's Chromatic Fantasy and Fugue finds her missing when those elements are in front of her. On the other hand, she's an elegant and charming pianist; I have all her Bach recordings, and I'm glad to have them.

  4. #33
    Senior Member howlingfantods's Avatar
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    I think the main thing I look for in a Bach pianist is a strong feeling for counterpoint, and the use of dynamics, agogics, articulation for bringing out the different voices in a swirl of multivoiced textures. Thus my favorites Sokolov, Gould, Schepkin who excel where that type of contrapuntal clarity is concerned.

    What I most dislike in a Bach pianist is the feeling of hearing a melody and accompaniment, especially an overly gentle and lyrical melody and accompaniment as if the pianist was playing Mendelssohn's Lieder ohne Worte or something, and that's what I mostly hear from Hewitt and Perahia for instance.

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  6. #34
    Senior Member wkasimer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by howlingfantods View Post
    *shrug* I find her pretty boring and tedious.
    I'd call her Bach "bland". It's all very well played, and Hyperion has always provided her with excellent sonics, but I don't sense a strong personality behind her playing.

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  8. #35
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    What do you make of this?


  9. #36
    Senior Member Bulldog's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mandryka View Post
    What do you make of this?

    I've had the above disc for many years. Her Italian Concerto is one of her best efforts, especially the stunning 2nd movement.

  10. #37
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    I think a similar thing happened to Perahia -- a very promising start with some Schumann and Chopin and even some of the earliest recordings of the Mozart concertos.
    Last edited by Mandryka; Nov-13-2019 at 21:17.

  11. #38
    Senior Member tdc's Avatar
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    In general I very much like both Schiff and Hewitt for Bach on piano. I'm not crazy about the Hewitt version of the Chromatic Fantasy and Fugue posted in this thread, but I'm not really into any piano version I've heard of it. That particular work I think just works better on a harpsichord.
    Last edited by tdc; Nov-14-2019 at 11:07.

  12. #39
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    The paradox is that the chromatic fantasy has been so much adopted by modern piano players, I have recordings by the likes of Artur Schnabel and Claudio Arrau and Wilhelm Kempff and Ivan Moravec and Maria Tipo and Rosalyn Tureck and Maria Yudina and others, all using big bad concert grands tuned equally.

    But more interesting than that, Chris Hogwood recorded it with a clavichord! And a clavichord has some things in common with a piano - percussive sound production, some dynamics variation possibilities for individual notes and short phrases. I don’t have the booklet to his The Secret Bach to hand, I don’t know if he discusses his choice.
    Last edited by Mandryka; Nov-14-2019 at 11:41.

  13. #40
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    I agree with TDC that the chromatic fantasy and fugue is best served by the harpsichord. The weak tonal color of the piano works against the brilliance of the piece, which must be seen in the light of works like Buxtehude's organ toccatas and minor mode preludes. Also the chromatic parts of the piece are stressed by an unequal tuning. And the clavichord tends to dwarf the piece into something intimate and domestic, which it isn't.

  14. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kjetil Heggelund View Post
    I'm wondering who you love playing Bach on a modern piano. I was raised on Gould playing Goldberg, but have kind of tired of his very personal style. When I put on Bach these days it's probably Angela Hewitt or Andras Schiff. BUT, I just discovered Roger Woodward playing WTC and think he plays very soulful & beautiful. This subject probably already has a thread somewhere...
    For me it's Richter. It's his recording of the 48 that I return to more than any other

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